by Pheto Ratua
Young South Africans are forming teams, groups and gatherings to heal their communities through the love of Christ.
A normal business day in South African townships starts at 4am. Taxi ranks, train stations and other public transportation are already in a hustle and bustle. Some going into work, others 2 hours away from knocking off - the story of a people fighting to survive.
In Pretoria west, lies a township – Atteridgeville. Like any other South African township, it is full of history and untapped potential. A group of young people who call themselves the "A-team" (for Atteridgeville), a group of ordinary young people, are making a difference through active participation in the spiritual, socioeconomic and psychosocial needs of Atteridgeville. They are young adults who feel their community’s pain, but are moved to do something about it.
The A-Team work in schools, homes and churches across the Atteridgeville, Lotus Gardens and Saulsville areas. Here they train and motivate their peers in entrepreneurship, how to start businesses and how to network. They also start groups where members go on a spiritual journey to become the best they can be in their Creator, groups they call Bible Discovery groups. Their aim is to activate movements in urban areas, to heal their communities. Moreover, to raise up other young leaders like themselves.
In April 2017 the A-Team has begun a church planting project in Atteridgeville. South Africans below the age of 35 years make up 66% of the population! The South African urban environment is ripe for fresh, younger expressions of church which they call 'gatherings'.